Defending Scoundrels

Years ago I encountered a wise quote:

“The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.” ~ H. L. Mencken

The more experienced I become, the more important– and wiser— that quote seems to be. To me, personally.

Over and over I have to step up and defend the natural human rights of people I don’t like. I understand it’s just as wrong to violate my enemy as it is to violate my friend. Or me.

Defending these people causes other people to sometimes get angry at me. They claim I’m taking the bad guys’ side. I get chided and scolded and even lied about.

Yet it’s worth it. If you can keep the counterfeit “laws” off the scoundrels, there will be fewer counterfeit “laws” used against the rest of us.

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Which “Minarchy”?

I understand the appeal of minarchy. After all, it’s where I came from; what I used to advocate. Even though I knew I was an anarchist personally, I used to imagine minarchy as the most practical way to be as liberated as possible.

But minarchy– keeping a little bit of cancer around and under control to prevent a different cancer from getting a foothold– is an unsustainable Utopian fantasy. Much more so than anarchy could ever be.

And, it’s confused.

As a minarchist, which “minimal government” would you pick? Only things such as government fire protection, government policing, military, government-controlled roads, and government courts? Other minarchists might have other preferences. Some would include “securing the borders” or other Big Government welfare programs. Any version includes the “taxation” to pay for it all, along with the bureaucracy to collect and distribute the money and find and punish the opt-outs.

Does every minarchist get to impose the particular flavor of “minimal government” they want? If so, it is no longer “minimal”.

Do you use v*ting to decide which bits of government you get to impose on me? Then it’s mob rule– “might (through superior numbers) makes right”.

Through v*ting and “taxation” you’ve cut the brake line on anything holding back government growth.

As I say, I understand, but a “little bit of statism” is still evil.

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Market Always Superior to Government

Last week, a local business delivered to my home — even though I didn’t ask and it wasn’t expected.

Just to be nice and to make a good impression.

And it worked.

This reminded me of the difference between market services and government “services” and why I always prefer the market.

With a market business, if I don’t like their service I can choose to not use them. I can use a competitor or do without. They know you have a choice, so If they want to stay in business they can’t poison their customers.

If I don’t shop at a particular store, they won’t send armed employees to my door to force themselves on me. I’m not forced to send them money regularly whether or not I shop with them. I can even go into competition with them. They can’t do anything about it unless — through cronyism — they use the violence of government against me. If they take that path, they are no longer part of the market, but have joined forces with the coercive sector: the State.

With government “services” there is no real choice. No matter how bad they are, I am forced to pay — even if I never use them.

When you end up facing a surly, incompetent, entitled bureaucrat you’re forced to pay this employee regardless. Often I am compelled to use a “service” I don’t want. If I try to opt out I will be attacked by armed government employees — maybe not right away, but if I fail to comply with their escalating threats it will happen. Their employees know this and it shows.

Sometimes you’ll get a caring government employee — more common in the less coercive branches — but niceness can’t make up for the lack of choice.

Occasionally you’ll be allowed to choose a non-government alternative, but you are still forced to pay for the unwanted government option. You can use a private school, but the government will claim this doesn’t mean you can stop funding the “public” school you neither need nor want. You will pay twice.

A business in the voluntary market can’t treat customers the way government services can. Not if it wants to survive.

The market will always be superior.

The only reason people believe they need government police but not government grocery stores is that — so far — groceries aren’t distributed by government. If something as critical as food can be handled by the market, lesser jobs like policing would be a snap.

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Aim Small, Miss Small (or Maybe Don’t Miss at All)

You’ve got to have a target in mind.

If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, how will you ever hit it?

The world will always try to fight against your aim. If you have a crosswind you have to take it into account, but still with the intention of hitting the target. You can’t just let the wind push your aim where it will. You have to think about where you intend to hit and compensate for the crosswind. If you let the winds push your aim downwind, you’ll not even hit close to your target.

By the same token, if you allow statism to push you in the direction it is blowing, you’ll never hit the target of individual liberty. Yes, you may have to compensate, by being even more “radical” than you’re comfortable with, but if you want to be on target you have no choice. You won’t hit the target by deciding that hitting the target isn’t realistic. You won’t hit it by finding a substitute target you believe would be easier to hit. You won’t hit the target by giving up and putting your gun down.

I know it’s frustrating to be told constantly that you’re not being realistic by insisting that the target you want to hit is the one you really are interested in hitting. That trying to shoot an easier target that you don’t even want is the pragmatic compromise you’re just going to have to settle for. Why even bother, in that case? And maybe that’s the point. Get people to give up. That seems like a tactic the other side– the statists– would be using against you.

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The Socialist Century (-ies?)

Looking back at 20th Century “world leaders” [sic] such as the domestic enemies Woodrow Wilson, FDR, and LBJ, and foreign thugs like Stalin, Hitler, Churchill, and all the rest, it seems socialism was all the rage– even when called something else.

So many “common people” also fell for the socialism lie and thought envy was a great thing to rally around and use as a foundation for a “society”. Socialism was everywhere, and we are still suffering the effects.

The 20th Century should be known as the Socialist Century.

My hope would be that it would be a singular mistake, not repeated in the 21st Century. But I’m not optimistic. Judging by current trends, we may be entering Socialist Century 2.0. And it may end up being even worse than the previous century before it’s over and done.

Too many pseudo-thinkers still love the idea of stealing from some and giving to others. For political power and money. They lie when they claim it’s about caring. But, all politics is based on lies, so what do you expect?

It seems obvious that socialism will increase until self-inflicted disaster forces an end to it.

I hope you and I can use the awareness of what’s coming to prepare and prosper throughout it– or at least survive it. If you can profit from it, on the backs of the socialists who are trying to eat you alive, do it with a clear conscience. If you can profit off the socialism by helping the rare fellow non-socialist through the rough times, just know you are providing a service– you are one of the good guys.

Through all the pain it causes you, just remember the monumentally greater pain it will cause the dolts who embrace it when their chickens come home to roost. They’ll be shocked and caught by surprise. You won’t. That makes you mighty.

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Cooperation is Libertarian

One thing I find very interesting, and a little frustrating, is how often people will try to put words in my mouth.

I guess it’s a facet of the straw man tactic.

Recently someone kept trying to say that I was against cooperation; that cooperation is against libertarian principles, so I have to be against it. Even after I explicitly said several times that I think cooperation is a great thing, and I’m completely in favor of it.

Libertarianism rejects cooperation? I’ve never made such a silly claim, nor have I ever seen anyone who understands liberty make a claim like that. It’s completely absurd.

But, because I’m opposed to stealing money to fund government or government “borders”, I must be against cooperation.

And if I am in favor of cooperation, then I must obviously see the “value” of theft and coercion in the name of government.

Yeah, I don’t get that connection either.

Government is the opposite of cooperation. If people willingly cooperate (and there’s really no such thing as non-willing cooperation) there is no need to rob them or to coerce them to do what you believe should be done. That’s not cooperation, that’s slavery.

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